The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes and in support of local community events. Members will be available to participate in training events provided free.
ARES MN Metro, the sponsor of this site, serves the community and in particular emergency management community in the nine county metro area. We train by providing health and safety communications at community events like the Twin Cities and Minneapolis Marathon. This page is in part to recruit hams to community service and where media contacts in the metro area can learn about ARES MN Metro.
What do Amateur Radio operators do during and after disasters?
Amateur Radio operators set up and operate organized communication networks locally for governmental and emergency officials, as well as non-commercial communication for private citizens affected by the disaster. Amateur Radio operators are most likely to be active after disasters that damage regular lines of communications due to power outages and destruction of telephone, cellular and other infrastructure-dependent systems.
How do Amateur Radio operators help local officials?
Many radio amateurs are active as communications volunteers with local public safety organizations. In addition, in some disasters, radio frequencies are not coordinated among relief officials and Amateur Radio operators step in to coordinate communication when radio towers and other elements in the communications infrastructure are damaged.
What are the major Amateur Radio emergency organizations?
Amateur Radio operators have informal and formal groups to coordinate communication during emergencies. At the local level, hams may participate in local emergency organizations, or organize local "traffic nets" using VHF (very high frequencies) and UHF (ultra high frequencies). At the state level, hams are often involved with state emergency management operations. In addition, hams operate at the national level through the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), which is coordinated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and through the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), which is coordinated through the American Radio Relay League and its field volunteers. Many hams are also involved in Skywarn, operating under the National Weather Service and provide emergency weather information to the NWS for analysis and dissemination to the public.
Is Amateur Radio recognized as a resource by national relief organizations?
Many national organizations have formal agreements with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and other groups including:
One of the principal justifications for continued access to the Amateur Radio spectrum is public service and to provide a talent pool for public safety and Emergency Management. A major part of Amateur Radio's public service and emergency communications activities are conducted within the context of the ARRL's formal agreements with the emergency management, government organizations, NGOs, non-profits and public service agencies.
Search for these organizations and offer yourself as a volunteer Amateur Radio Operator:
American Red Cross
Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO-International)
Boy Scouts of America
Minnesota Youth Amateur Radio Council
Citizen Corps (Department of Homeland Security)
Civil Air Patrol (CAP)
Minnesota Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (MNVOAD)
REACT International Inc.
Salvation Army & SATERN
SKYWARN (National Weather Service)
Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE)
United States Power Squadrons